The interesting part of becoming a parent is that you have no idea what to expect. It's scary and exhilarating all at the same time. In 2010, I wrote this post for Design Mom, I think it is appropriate to post it here to introduce Thaddaeus and his arrival on this Earth. I had a lot of fears, anxiety and eventually joy upon his arrival and I am happy to report that he's an amazing eight year old boy that has endured a lot more then most should have to. His determination is amazing and so is his acceptance of who he is and who he is becoming. He has his days, we all do... watch out world this boy will become a great man that will do amazing things.
The other HILARIOUS part of my 2010 post is that I put out in to the universe my desire to have four children. In 2012 I would have laughed at you. Here we are in 2016 with four children, life is funny that way.
Pregnancy for me is something I have always wanted. I love children and have known for quite some time that I would love at least four children. Who knew that each pregnancy would be an adventure in itself? When I became pregnant for the first time I had a blast nesting and just enjoying my belly — of course, I had no idea that at 31 weeks I would be giving birth!
We were visiting my parent’s home two hours West of Minneapolis in little town called Osakis on December 17, 2005. I had met a friend for dinner in a neighboring town and right before the entrée came I knew something was up. I excused myself to the bathroom and immediately called my OBGYN because I had clearly had lost my ‘plug.’ Within the next two hours I was on a helicopter being transported back to Minneapolis, the nearest NICU, with my husband and mother left to trail in the car, worried and scared. We held off labor until January 2, 2006 and on that day we welcomed our daughter Riah Elizabeth. 4 pounds 14 ounces, big for a preemie, but we spent more than a month in the NICU.
That experience alone could fill a blog, but I need to proceed… In June 2007 I found out that I was pregnant with my second child, we were beyond excited and with my previous pregnancy knew that we needed to take precautions. I began receiving progesterone shots weekly at home and started taking it easy. My biggest fear was having a premature child, little did I know I was about to start worrying about much more. We went in for our 20 week ultrasound and the technician began and then she suddenly stopped. My instinct immediately told me something was wrong and she mentioned needing to get the Dr before we switched over to 3D. All the things I didn’t want for my child ran through my head, missing organs, four legs, and worse dead. When my doctor came in he said, “Well we’ve got good news and we’ve got bad, good news it’s a boy and he’s growing well and has ten fingers and toes…bad news, he’ll be born with a cleft lip and we are not sure about the palette.” I sat in silence. What the hell is a cleft lip? Where do I learn more? What do I do? What does this mean? I made the mistake of Googleing “cleft lip” and made myself sick for days.
The problem I ran into was finding accurate, solid information on what to do , what to prepare for. How will feed this child? What should I get? I let anxiety get the best of me. So I went to my blog and wrote this letter to him:
“I vow, to my son, from this post on to be stronger. To be the mother he needs me to be and that I need me to be. This isn’t the end of the world, this is the beginning of the beautiful life of my son. Things won’t “look” as I had hoped (but that is me being vain) we will struggle and I will cry more (for the good and bad times.) But I vow to my son that no matter what it takes I will be there and be there with a strong force driving me. I will pray everyday not only for him but for my family that this will only make us better and that we will form a great team unit. I vow, that until you are born I won’t fret as much or cry (as much) and I will enjoy every minute that you are in my womb until you are in my arms. I will be happy for you and me. I deserve that, you deserve that. I love you.
Things are uncertain about what to expect, but the one thing I know for certain is that he is my son and I am his mother who loves him…and that is all that matters.”
The rest of my pregnancy was spent meeting with specialists, researching, getting more 3D ultrasounds, preparing for the best and worst. I spent time in the hospital for preterm labor and remained on medication until 35 weeks.
At 37 weeks, on February 29, 2008, at 3:08 in the morning, a leap year baby boy was born. His name is Thaddaeus and from that moment I knew that cleft or no cleft he was beautiful and he was mine.
I needed to be strong for him, it no longer was about me and my fears and perceptions. Because of my research, feedings and care were easy and we went home the next day. Since then Thaddaeus has had 4 surgeries and will have his next one at the age of five. He’s healthy and active and most days I forget that he was even born with a cleft lip and palette.